Air Canada reverses plan to cancel some A220s, brings MAX deliveries forward

Air Canada

Air Canada (ADH2) is expanding its fleet more quickly than planned after seeing favorable revenue and traffic trends over the busy summer period. 

“To support our network restoration, we have reversed our decision to cancel two Airbus A220 aircraft orders and are now accelerating deliveries of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft,” the Canadian flag carrier said on November 2, 2021.

The two Airbus A220 aircraft, which will now be delivered in 2024, are part of an order for 12 A220-300 aircraft that Air Canada (ADH2) had previously said it would not go ahead with. 

As for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Air Canada (ADH2) has brought forward four deliveries into the fourth quarter of 2021, meaning it will welcome seven of the aircraft to its fleet in 2021. A remaining nine 737 MAX planes will be delivered by the end of the second quarter of 2022, bringing the Canadian carrier’s total MAX fleet to 40. 

The announcement came as Air Canada (ADH2) reported financial results for the three months to September 30, 2021. 

Its third quarter operating revenues almost tripled to C$2.1 billion ($1.69 billion), and its operating loss narrowed to C$364 million ($294 million) from C$785 million ($633 million)one year. 

Cargo revenues have exceeded C$1 billion ($0.8 billion) so far this year, a record, the airline added. 

The carrier also said that it generated net cash of C$153 million ($123 million) in the quarter, better than expectations for a cash burn of between C$280-C$460 million ($226-$371 million). 

“We are encouraged by the favourable revenue and traffic trends in the third quarter, with strong increases in key passenger geographic segments, a record cargo performance and significant improvements in both Air Canada Vacations and Aeroplan,” Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada (ADH2), said in the earnings report.

Air Canada’s (ADH2) capacity in the third quarter was about 33% of pre-pandemic levels. For the final quarter of 2021, it plans to operate about 53% of pre-crisis capacity.

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